Burley vs. Minico football

Minico running back Larry Vega tries to escape the grip of Burley free safety Kody Kruckenberg on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Burley High School in Burley.

PAT SUTPHIN, TIMES-NEWS FILE PHOTO

The Minico High School football team will open up its 4A playoff run this year with a rematch against Century, and even though Minico won the first game 55-35 in week two, head coach Tim Perrigot isn’t letting his players think they’re the favorites.

Century hails from eastern Idaho, an area that Perrigot said gives the Diamondbacks a great chance to play more competitive teams than Great Basin Conference has to offer.

“They play a very difficult schedule,” he said. “They’re going to be much improved, and I think they’re going to be ready to play.”

Minico has given itself a tougher schedule over the past few years to try to match the competition of teams like Century, including games against 5A teams like playoff participant Rigby, which Perrigot hopes toughen his team up.

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Burley vs. Minico football

Burley running back Alex Ramos is brought down by multiple Minico defenders Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Burley High School in Burley.

PAT SUTPHIN, TIMES-NEWS FILE PHOTO

But last week, Century beat an Emmett team that many predicted to advance to play Minico, which Perrigot saw as a sign of great strength. However, he believed Emmett killed itself with overconfidence coming in — a mistake he said his team won’t make.

“It was obvious at the end of the game that they realized they’d screwed up, because they were trying to catch up and score with no time left,” he said. “It was too late.”

Minico senior running back Larry Vega said the practices over the last week have been intense, and no Spartan is preparing for an easy game.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice,” he said. “None of us are joking around.”

But Perrigot said at this point in the season, it’s not about how much you learn in practice as much as how much you put on the field. He’s been stressing to his team that they’re playing not just for themselves, but also for the conference, which hasn’t had a playoff win since 2013.

“We’ve got to figure this thing out,” he said. “We need somebody to step up and make something happen for us.”

That includes some players who will be filling in for injured players, including junior free safety Colter May. After losses at both strong safety spots, May will be asked to step up, and Perrigot has a lot of confidence in the move.

“He understands all the concepts and the coverages, so he’ll be fine on that side of the football,” Perrigot said.

Minico’s bye last week meant less game time but more time to heal. Perrigot said wideout Regen Povlsen is expected to play after suffering an MCL sprain against Wood River two weeks ago.

“He’s had some tremendous catches for us,” Perrigot said. “He’s really playing his best football for us at this time.”

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The bye week also gave the Spartans more time to scout, and with Century throwing more double-wide looks in its normally spread offensive scheme, Perrigot said his team should have ample time to prepare for both looks.

Even though Century has a young team, including a sophomore quarterback, Perrigot said the Diamondbacks have a blank slate in the playoffs, which can often be a good thing.

“They’re not dwelling on what happened in the past because there really is no past for them,” he said.

Vega said the Spartans plan to throw some different looks on offense, including some extra passing looks for a team that’s utilized a rush-first offense all season long.

“I hope our running game does good again like last time we played them, but we’re planning to pass the ball more just to be ready,” he said.

Perrigot trusts his players and said his team has had “an exceptional year,” but playoff football is a different animal. To win, his team is going to have to find that extra ounce.

“The fact of the matter is our record is 0-0,” he said. “You win, you’re in, and you lose, you’re done.”

Friday night’s Century-Minico game is part of the Mini-Cassia Game Night series, a partnership between the Times-News and IdahoSports.com. To view IdahoSports’ live (or archived) webcast of this game, visit idahosports.com/gamestreams

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